…where I’m talking about William Powhida’s show at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles.
A painting by Zak Smith. From the artist’s solo exhibit, Maximum Everything Always, at Fredericks & Freiser in New York. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea. (Image courtesy of the artist and Fredericks & Freiser.)
- NYC: I, YOU, WE, at the Whitney Museum. Through September 1st. (This show is totally bangin’. GO SEE IT.)
- NYC: Anselm Kiefer: The Morgenthau Project, at Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street. Through June 8, in Chelsea.
- NYC: Nearby, a group show with Debra Bermingham, Michael Cline, Siobhan McBride, and Dushko Petrovich, at DC Moore Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
- NYC: James Esber, Fourteen Drawings and One Painting Perpetually Shown, at Pierogi. Through May 26, in Williamsburg.
- NYC: Kim Dorland, Ghosts of You and Me, at Mike Weiss Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
- NYC: Garrett Pruter, Interiors, at Charles Bank Gallery. Through May 26, on the Lower East Side.
- NYC: Sofia Maldonado, Into Gray, at Magnan Metz. Through June 1, in Chelsea.
- NYC: The Vibrant Future of the Creative Economy: Real World Value and Arts Thinking, part of the Ideas City Festival, at Old School. This Friday from 11am-5pm, in SoHo.
- St. Louis: Bad at Sports, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Through Sunday.
- Portland, Ore.: Tools Folds Flight at Ampersand Gallery. Through May 26.
- L.A.: William Powhida, Bill by Bill, at Charlie James Gallery. Through June 8, in Chinatown.
- Pasadena: Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture, at the Norton Simon Museum. Through January 6.
LAST CHANCE: There is an absolutely stunning show of paintings by Susanna Heller on view at Magnan Metz in Chelsea. The show includes her signature brooding landscapes, but there are also a couple of walls of sketches (worth examining) as well as a suite of works that chronicle her husband’s illness. In these latter pieces, I almost felt as if I could smell the rubbing alcohol and hear the blip of the heart monitor. The machinery in these images seems to have a disconcerting life of its own. I simply couldn’t look away.
The works are absolutely staggering for their intensity, intimacy and visual punch. Do not miss this show.
Susanna Heller, Phantom Pain, is on view at Magnan Metz through this Saturday, April 20.
Sandy Says So, 2012, by Lisa Adams. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, Second Life, at CB1 Gallery. Opens Sunday at 5pm, in downtown Los Angeles. (Image courtesy of the artist and CB1.)
- Boston: Barry McGee, at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Opens Saturday.
- N.J.: New video works by Lee Arnold, at the Montclair Art Museum. Opens today, in Montclair.
- NYC: Spectacle: The Music Video, at the Museum of the Moving Image. Opens today, in Astoria.
- NYC: Gordon Matta-Clark, Above and Below, at David Zwirner. Through May 4, on 19th Street in Chelsea.
- NYC: Elliott Hundley, at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Through April 27, in Chelsea.
- NYC: The Emo Show, at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Through May 11th.
- NYC: Cordy Ryman, Adaptitive Radiation, at Dodge Gallery. Opens Saturday at 6pm, on the Lower East Side.
- NYC: Pufferella, Pufferella’s Boudouir, at The Lab. This Saturday, for one day only, starting at 2pm at The Lab at 400 East 9th St, #2B, in the East Village.
- NYC: Critical Language, a forum on International Art English, at Triple Canopy. This Saturday at 4pm, in Greenpoint. (For writer nerds, this looks like a must-do.)
- West Palm Beach: The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951, at the Norton Simon Museum of Art. Through June 16.
- S.F.: Christian Marclay, The Clock, at SFMOMA. The museum half a dozen screenings starting tomorrow at 11am (for members only). The first fully public screening will take place on May 4; the last, on June 1.
- L.A.: Marilyn Minter, at Regen Projects. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Hollywood.
- L.A.: Anna Sew Hoy, Home Office, at Various Small Fires. Opens Saturday, in Venice.
In other news: The Ken Johnson kerfuffle has reared its head again. I’m on deadline, so here’s the short of it: Johnson just penned a piece in Art in America in response to a critique by David Levi-Strauss about his work reviewing shows concerning female and African-American artists. (While I generally agree with some of Levi-Strauss’s points, the whole “my students say this” and “my students say that” set-up of his essay is totally passive aggressive.) Johnson defends his positions in his new essay, and, in response, the white male status quo has taken to Facebook to give the New York Times critic some hearty bro slaps.
While I haven’t been wild about all of the critiques of Johnson’s work (I think the petition could have been more nuanced and Levi-Strauss just needed to strap on a pair and not lay his arguments on his anonymous students), I agree with many of the points being made. Johnson has a real bee in his bonnet about shows built around gender or identity. That is, gender or identity that isn’t white or male.
A lot of the Facebook comments keep going on about how Johnson’s work is being taken out of context and that this is all some sort of witch hunt. It is most certainly not. (The original petition, to be clear, does not call for Johnson’s censure. It merely asks that the New York Times acknowledge and address Johnson’s “editorial lapses.” This could have been done in the Public Editor column, or by running a letter to the editor with a response. The petition’s language is vague. But it is most certainly not calling for Johnson to be fired.)
For the record, I don’t have a problem with all of Johnson’s work. I’ve quite enjoyed some of his reviews in the past. But in the arena of gender and identity, I find him distressingly narrow-minded. I think a close read of the new Art in America essay is evidence of that. And certainly, a close read of some his previous work is, too. I did that the first time around. See my previous essay on the subject.
What bums me out the most in all of this is the artists — the ones who won’t get a nuanced criticism of their work in the New York Times because of who they happen to be.
It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a gallery show. Henry Taylor at Blum & Poe is definitely one to see if you live in L.A. Stand Tall – Y’all, 2013, above, was one of my favorite pieces in the show. I like the texture of the man’s overalls, the mysterious hand and the unusual scale of the horse.
Gravity and Grace, 2010, by El Anatsui. Currently on view as part of the artist’s solo exhibit Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, at the Brooklyn Museum through August 4. (Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery. Photo by Andrew McAllister.)
- Have something you need to get off your chest? Artists JEFF&GORDON want you to leave them a voice mail.
- “It’s time to restore Marcel Duchamp’s urinal to the bathroom.” Randy Kennedy has a good piece in the NYT about art as a form of social service.
- CultureGrrl picks apart how MOCA might be able to merge with LACMA. Needless to say, it would involve committees and a refund to Big Brother Broad.
- I’m digging this L.A. Times series, in which artists discuss works they find interesting or influential in SoCal museums.
- A site comprised entirely of Facebook comments.
- The Accidental Audience: Brad Troemel has a thoughtful piece on the ways in which art is consumed, shared and regurgitated on the internet — sometimes unknowingly.
- This new Art F City feature is something I can really get behind: understanding an artist through his/her stuff. First up is Paul Chan.
- Peter Schjeldahl’s review of the Piero della Francesca exhibit at the Frick makes me really want to see the show.
- Pete Brook’s “Pete’s New Friends” series. I love running into these on my Tumblr.
- The urbanist philosophies of Batman versus Superman.
- Totally late on this, but what the hey: Toyo Ito won the Pritzker Prize. And Architect magazine says, “Finally!”
- An interesting essay in the Guardian about the myth of the American cowboy. Interestingly, a lot of the language and costume is derived from Mexican tradition.
- Maureen Tkacik dismembers the Thought Leader class. Whoa.
- There is an absolute stunner of a story by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker about the legal history behind the creation of the Guantanamo detainee camp. One of the first times that the notion of the unlawful combatant was employed in U.S. jurisprudence was in the 17th century, against Algonquian Indians trying to oust the British from New England. They were sent to the Caribbean and sold as slaves. (Subscription required.)
- Journalism words to not live by, according to the Washington Post. Someone needs to come up with a list of these for art writers.
- Book writer Edward Champion is trying to raise bucks to walk across the country. Help a blogger out!
- The internet has had great giffitude this past week. Also here.
I had the great honor of profiling painter Llyn Foulkes for NPR News. Not only did I get to spend some quality time in his studio, I got a private concert on his one-man band, The Machine. Plus I got to see his collection of curiosities (skulls!). Foulkes has an an all-kinds-of-gangbusters retrospective at the Hammer Museum: gritty, funny, desperate, intense, and beautiful, with works, such as The Last Frontier, above, that are just mind-boggling in their content and material construction.
Pleasepleaseplease click over to my story or stream it below — and if you’re in SoCal, definitely check out the show. It’s up through May 19.
P.S. After you’ve listened, check out this performance of Llyn playing “Your Cheatin’ Heart” on The Machine. ♥♥♥♥
Madawaska, Acadian Light-Heavy, Third Arrangement, 1940 by Marsden Hartley. Part of the Whitney Museum exhibit American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. (Photo by Sheldan C. Collins. Courtesy of the Whitney Museum.)
***Please please please vote for my Richard Jackson story over at KCET so that it gets made into a video segment and I don’t suffer INTERNET SHAME on par with Denver the Dog. Voting
ends ended on Monday evening morning. Never mind! I lost… (Though you should totally watch the Denver the Dog video, which came to me courtesy of John Powers.)
- When the Hitler art isn’t ironic: A staggering must-read from Jen Graves.
- With a very thoughtful follow-up by Jillian Steinhauer.
- Highest median student debt comes from…art schools.
- Mid-size galleries being squeezed out of Chelsea spaces by rising rents. Which means Chelsea is about to become waaaaaaaay more boring.
- So glad to hear that MoMA has acquired one of Senga Nengudi’s pantyhose pieces. ♥♥♥
- A Tumblr art symposium.
- To respond — or not — to bad reviews.
- Kriston Capps has an interesting write-up on the Corcoran Gallery’s Pump Me Up show, which examines D.C. subcultures of the 1980s.
- The complicated provenance of street art: a London town wants its Banksy back. More here. (Hyperallergic.)
- A wonderful video from Art21 about Margaret Kilgallen’s heroines. WELL DONE.
- A Kiowa Warrior’s sketchbook from 1877.
- Trouble at El Museo. This bums me out.
- If you’ve got some extra cash on you, Bob Hope’s John-Lautner-designed Palm Springs pad is for sale. It looks like a space ship and comes with a golf hole and impossibly green lawns. (@HawthorneLAT.)
- The history of Pad Thai.
- The artist as a chocolate bust.
- At an alternative L.A. space: The art of food. So conceptual…
- And speaking of conceptual: an excellent takedown of the form. Thank you, Portlandia.